Sheila's Sauteed Soft-Shell Crabs With Lemon Butter Sauce

"When my boyfriend told me soft-shell crabs was one of his favorite dishes, I knew I was in trouble. I had never made them before, so I realized I was in for a long learning process. Well, I think I have finally mastered it. As a matter of fact, when we were recently out to dinner, he ordered some soft-shell crabs and then proclaimed (with surprise) that they weren't near as good as mine! So, I will share my success with you."
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photo by JackieOhNo! photo by JackieOhNo!
Ready In:




  • In Ziploc bag, add flour and Old Bay seasoning. Seal and shake to mix.
  • In bowl, combine eggs and milk.
  • Dredge crabs in egg mixture, then add to seasoned flour and shake to coat. Shake off excess when removing from bag.
  • Heat 3 T. oil in large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add 3 crabs in a single layer and cook for about 3 minutes, then turn and cook for another 3 minutes. The crabs should be nice and golden brown. (Be careful when cooking, because they sometimes will pop and/or spatter.) Remove crabs to serving dish.
  • Heat remaining 3 T. oil in pan, then add the next 3 crabs and repeat cooking instructions.
  • Do not clean out pan when crabs are removed, but add butter. Let the butter melt and turn a little brown. Add the capers and the wine. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the lemon juice and the parsley. Cook for about 2 more minutes, or until reduced by about a third. Pour sauce over the crabs and serve.

Questions & Replies

  1. I've never had them, do you eat shell and all?


  1. Soft-shell crabs are just about my favorite thing to eat. I have them in the freezer year round ( This recipe is delicious! Great idea using the Old Bay seasoning with the flour. It gave it a nice crust. And the lemons, wine and capers are absolutely wonderful with the crab. Great job!
  2. I thought the recipe did not tell you how to clean the crab. Like removing the gills and the face. Also cleaning the yellow stuff which tastes nasty from the crab.
  3. Fried soft-shell crabs and frog legs--a Loooooooouisiana tradition! Made for ZWT5
  4. Made these for my sons birthday. They were excellent. The only thing I changed was I added chopped garlic.
  5. Oh man, these are awesome! This was my first attempt at doing soft shell crabs myself and I was surprised at how easy they actually are. These are just mouth watering delicious! Thanks for posting this recipe and taking the fear out of soft shell crabs!


I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!
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